Your 2018 Cannabis Buyer’s Guide for San Francisco’s Outside Lands Festival

By Chris Roberts

So you can’t order and legally smoke cannabis at a major US music festival—yet.

But this weekend in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park, you can experience the next best thing: shopping legal cannabis and ordering ahead for when the concert is done.

This year, the 10th annual, 200,000-person, three-day music festival Outside Lands adds Grass Lands, where a dozen cannabis brands present a “curated brand experience.” Adults age 21 and older with valid identification will be able to peruse the best of contemporary cannabis wares and arrange sales to be concluded later.

There’s a funky, skunky cannabis aroma wall and a lemonade stand selling refreshing beverages mixed with aromatics. Edibles brands will be handing out no-high versions of their treats, and there will be lots of samples to look at—as well as a few dozen nearly mature cannabis plants, imported from Mendocino County.

But that’s it. If any brand tries a hand-to-fist sale, there will be trouble. And there will be no cannabis consumption (at least not any consumption that is officially condoned).

Still, the significance shouldn’t be understated. As any attendee of any music festival could tell you, from the time Bob Dylan scandalized the Newport Folk Festival by plugging in his guitar, to this year’s two “marijuana-free” weekends at Coachella, ample cannabis is found wherever music is played.

“It’s clear the culture is way ahead of the law,” said Brian Zisk, an early internet radio entrepreneur and music-industry adviser and expert.

Technically, smoking in Golden Gate Park is forbidden, but enforcement is generally complaint-driven.

“There will be people smoking weed all around it. It’s now legal—and you can’t do that?” he asked, rhetorically.

“Nobody wants to be the guy who gets busted because you didn’t play by the rules,” he said. “It’s still conservative. It is what it is.”

Katelyn Petersonbatch-2, 2018